[Draft Series] The Ex-files

Original draft: August 1, 2016

Summer is usually a time for healing.

I’m not saying I have a ton of experience with the traditional definition of “exes” because in the traditional definition of “date for a long time, fall in love, fall out of love, break up,” I have two, both of which started in college. I have a lot of experience with other kinds of exes though. There’s the Banker, who only met me in bars after 10pm to act like my boyfriend until the next morning, and there’s the Nice Guy that I went on four dates with and never once kissed because he bored me. There’s the Boss, who only liked me when he couldn’t have me and insulted my intelligence once I finally gave in, and of course there’s the Child, the story we don’t need to rehash again. Those stories are all finished and gratefully so, but there are always little chances to run into people in a city like New York. Especially when there’s a Fling from a few years back that’s related to a core member of the group, and you start a new job that is quite literally around the corner from an ex’s office. You know. Those typical situations.

Truth be told, more than anything those last bits are funny coincidences over anything substantial in my life.  And I didn’t think that I needed to be contemplating all these past parts of me, not now, when there are so many exciting things coming up in the next few weeks. Maybe I still don’t, who knows.

[DRAFT SERIES] Hi love!

Original draft: May 6, 2016

Hi love!

(hi etc.)

I forget what I’ve told you and what I haven’t and what stories won’t make sense until you’ve heard another one. It feels silly to bother you across the world with the minor details of my weekend, like how I passed Gwynnett or how I wished on a new moon to bring me a few letters in the order .

A lot of things are changing. I can feel the tides shifting in the air: it’s like following a flower down a waterfall, bumpy till the ledge, a life-or-death free fall, the drop and then near-perfect calm. I think I’m in the free fall right now. You used to be like my lifeboat in these moments, waiting at the bottom with a blanket and a glass of wine, but I don’t want to bother you with this time, because this time I think these screams of mine are in excitement, falling with my arms out like flying instead of flailing in fear. I promise everything is okay. I’m just adjusting to updating you on my life almost every day, instead of almost every hour.

(Little things add up to big stories; what’s happened since the last change e.g. single life)

Till the next moment where you’re waking up and I’m falling asleep and we have exactly 10 minutes to catch up on life before our days simultaneously begin and end.

L.

Draft Series: [untitled]

Original draft: May 1, 2016

We road trip really well together, he and I, because we both like to talk and we both like to listen. The trips have become one of my favorite parts of our relationship, trading stories about the time before we met, college and childhoods, talking about things in the future like our upcoming Scandinavian adventure. I was regaling a particularly ridiculous story on the way to CT recently, about [atlantic city story]. I sat quiet after that story ended, in that odd space of nostalgia where you can’t tell if you’re happy or sad, and A peeked over at me briefly. “So really, between everything in the last year and then M&N moving, isn’t that your whole like, ‘core’ group of friends?” I stared out the window for a minute as his words washed over me and took a deep breath. “Yeah,” I told him. “I suppose it was.”

 

[Draft Series] YTT Diaries

Original draft: February 6, 2016

Week 3, Day 4

I think the fact that we had to trust that the teacher was there and would take us out when it was time, we had to trust each other to stay focused, eyes closed, and we had to trust an open door at our back; all of these things were on our minds and yet we had to focus our sole attention of a single thought or breath or image or sound . We spent the next 90 minutes after that working on opening our hearts and our hips, more gestures of trust and love, and we laughed that whole practice with our instructor, hence running over by a quarter of an hour. 

Something powerful happened today and when MH talked us into savasana I let the tears roll down my cheeks as her words ran through me so powerfully: “We just kicked each other’s asses, and we get to spend this whole weekend together, and that’s all awesome.” Her words hit me somewhere powerful and deep, because they were so perfectly true in that moment for me, where the walls outside YTT were really confusing and cranky, so it’s wood floors and conversations were the only place I could lose myself in something I love. 

[Draft Series] Lost and…

Original draft: September 23, 2015

Note from LB: This draft was one of the hardest to post, and I almost didn’t – hence thinking it would be a good way to round out the draft series this month. I’ve actually been working on this since writing this entry, where it’s first referenced, but I don’t think I can finish it any more than this – it’s not an entry I’ve enjoyed writing, which is why I won’t finish it, but it’s something I’m glad I started drafting, at least.

I’m starting to feel that I’m losing my best friend, or maybe I’m just realizing now that we’re already lost.

That’s dramatic, right? Nothing has happened to make me think this; there wasn’t a catalyst to this small epiphany. But after pushing the thought out of my head for weeks, it just won’t go away. It may even be months by now, trying to pretend everything is the same and normal and good, but at some point recently there was a shift. Pretending everything is normal and good doesn’t work when normal has shifted so dramatically in the past year. Maybe that’s where the shift has happened: I’ve been hoping that our normal stayed the same.

Trying to be angry at this situation is useless. So is trying to be sad, I suppose. (keep this? Delete?)

Rereading, this could be about anyone. Because we’re all going through these huge, earth-shaking, life-changing events, because none of us are the same anymore. I’ve watched friendships with everyone evolve to adjust to new partners and new apartments and new cities and new jobs. Everything has evolved, and if I’m trying to reminisce about the best friends I had this time last year, I’d be talking about different people. Not in reality, but just in who we are, and how we’ve all evolved. So maybe this thought, that I’m losing or I’ve lost my best friend, is just a cold sweat of nostalgia, worming its way into my brain because November is almost here and somehow I have a feeling this one will be harder than the first one.

[build out – vodka/lost keys joke?] Then again, perhaps I’m not supposed to know what this all means yet. But I do know, at least, that I’m starting to feel like I’m losing my best friend. Or maybe, especially after talking it out here, I’m just accepting that the We I’m missing like crazy, or the We I thought we would be even with all these changes, is already lost.

[Draft Series] Brick by Brick by Brick

Original draft: July 18, 2014

I’ve never considered myself a “guarded” person necessarily. I’m quick to like new people and eager to trust others, preferring to give them the benefit of the doubt rather than assume the worst. I’m an open book in person and clearly here, and I really dislike keeping secrets about myself – better to save that energy for keeping any secrets entrusted to me.

(incl.)

So I’m just stacking bricks now, one by one, with every piece of pain, using the strength I’ve gained from opening up to someone as a way to shut back down.

[Draft Series] So much.

Original draft: May 14, 2015

the other night, horribly bored by the prime time offerings of Time Warner Cable, I decided to play around in HBO on demand and was pleasantly surprised to find The Fault in Our Stars. I love the book, I cry every time I read it, and frankly I cried throughout most of the movie, the kind of ugly tears that happen when you’re on your couch alone after a long day. There’s a point in the movie where lots of things are happening, and Augustus Waters tells Hazel Grace “I love you so much.” [needs more context]

I’ve heard those words before, from all manner of different people. “Love ya much” to end a conversation with my anchor G and my soul sister E, and I’ve heard it from family, and even in a way from little miss, as she waits for me by the door every day when I come home and how she has to sleep on my pillow with me every night. But there’s that awful moment sometimes where you see something happen and it just breaks you a little bit. Because I’ve never heard those words from the one kind of person that you want to hear them from, so much.

[Draft Series] Untitled.

Original draft: February 6, 2015

There’s this elation, in the last 20 minutes of a car ride. Everyone who was getting sleep starts perking up, the slow music of a long stretch of highway turns into synth beats turned all the way up. Everyone starts singing along, laughing and goading and getting ready for the next 36 hours together.

[Draft Series] Gorgeous

Original draft: August 8, 2014

Before I left for Argentina back in 2008, my grandmother, the adorable woman she is, gave me a red notebook, a simple thing with white dots and flowers. She told me she’d noticed how much I loved writing, and thought it would be a good way to capture my experience living in a foreign country for that time, something to look back on in however many years to relive the feeling of the first day, the first month, the little memories that fade with time. I was really diligent about writing in it for the first few weeks, eventually stopping in favor of nights at the bar instead of nights with a notebook, but ever since that day, that notebook has never left my possession. It’s something I’ve been writing in for over six years now, intermittent bursts of inspiration coming like slow waves of emotion. I have sporadic entries in clusters, writing near daily for a month in 2011, then not again till 2012, then not again till early 2014. In my many moves around the city, I’ve debated whether I should get rid of it, but there are so many intimate pieces of me in those pages, pieces of so many different LBs in the past seven years, it’s like a part of me at this point, that little red notebook I never thought I’d fill.

I rarely go back and read old entries, even from the Buenos Aires days, in a large part because they can be very difficult to read. I’ll read sentences or words and just cringe. It’s like watching a bad movie about yourself: the girl fighting to find her way in a foreign country, turns into the girl fighting for a relationship alone, turns into the girl fighting being alone in a big city. All of my mistakes are laid bare in those pages, sometimes before I even knew they were mistakes, and I’ve had physical, visceral reactions to reading certain words, because I can remember how excited that LB was in writing the words down, and I know I’m going to relive her crushing pain when I turn the page. It’s like turning the pages on your own misery sometimes, and for that reason, it’s only in moments where I need to gain perspective that I’ll ever go back to things written in there previously.

Despite knowing it could turn ugly in a line or a page, the other night I found myself compelled not just to casually flip back and find an entry, but to go back to the beginning and read them all. I watched the dates to skip certain pages, the ones I’ll never forget writing, like that night almost a year ago now, where I felt my insides rip apart slowly and completely, barely able to put pen to paper as I sobbed from a guttural and feral place of emotion I’ve


[Draft Series] Daring

Original draft: July 11, 2015

There’s really nothing that compares to walking through the Upper East Side on a Friday night during peak pregame/happy hour hours while braless in a loose shirt and sweatpants, with a pitbull on one arm and a pug on the other. I mean, there’s a lot of words in that sentence that could contribute to my sticking out like a sore thumb in that neighborhood, and I actually debated with myself for a long time before leaving the apartment dressed as such, but in the end, I realized I didn’t care. I certainly wasn’t trying to impress anyone that night, I wasn’t planning on going out that night so why would I put on real pants, and at the time I was in the midst of the worst of the poison ivy, which made wearing a bra even more unbearable than it normally is.